An inside look at Gypsum and the work Vaticinate:
This project nearly destroyed me. I would hike for miles in the frigid winter nights in order to discretely trespass into the mining site. Time and time again, I would return exhausted and empty . Then came a shivering discovery at dawn of mountain lion tracks near mine. Any fear of being caught had been completely erased.
So now, on my last night; while testing stable ground near the island, I slipped and began to sink into the silk gypsum Earth. Nearly surrounded by toxic water, this new-age quicksand began to swallow me when my shovel finally struck hardened ground above.
Soaked and shivering, on my hands and knees I begged for air so cold it hurt. I was not thankful - just defeated. Later as I was nearing my van, a styrofoam board caught my eye as it moved across the land like an awkward tumbleweed. With this, I made one last go...
About the site:
The town of Gypsum, Colorado has just under 7,000 people and is roughly the same size as the adjacent town of Eagle, a handful of miles east. Both towns share a common ground to the large plant: American Gypsum, the areas largest employer. Gypsum is a mineral that comes from the Earth and is primarily mined for drywall and joint compound manufacturing with American Gypsum being a large U.S. producer.
Currently, American Gypsum is looking to expand its interests and break open a new mine near its current site in Gypsum. Its practices, like all other mining companies are subject to federal standards. It has been shut down numerous times for unsafe practices and re-opened under a new name for years.
The size of this plant and the natural abundance of gypsum in the area is remarkable to see. The town and its people are not only subject to these mishaps and malpractices like toxins entering their drinking water and fishing ponds, but the Colorado river, a major waterway runs 50 meters North of the site. How we treat our Earth is how we face our future...
Thank-you Matt Colaizzo for your support, shovel toss and process photos. Watching the sun change upon that landscape I'll never forget.